Background: Many previous studies have explored the effects of manual massage on back muscle fatigue, and most of the mechanical massage techniques imitate manual massage. However, it is unknown whether mechanical and manual massage have the same functions for exercise-induced back muscle fatigue.
Objective: To investigate the effects of mechanical bed massage on the biochemical markers of exercise-induced back muscle fatigue in male collegiate athletes.
Methods: Twenty-eight male collegiate athletes who met the experimental criteria were recruited in this randomized controlled trial, and randomly assigned to a mechanical bed massage group (experimental group) or resting group (control group). The subjects performed eight bouts of reverse sit-up in the prone position and received 20 minutes of the intervention. Creatine kinase, blood lactate, and serum cortisol levels were measured at baseline, after fatigue, after intervention, and after 24 hours.
Results: The level of serum cortisol of the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental group after the intervention (p< 0.05). The comparison of the two groups for blood lactate levels showed no significant differences at any of the measurement time-points (p> 0.05). There was no significant difference in creatine kinase levels immediately after the intervention (p> 0.05), but a significant difference in creatine kinase level was observed between the two groups 24 hours later (p< 0.05).
Conclusions: Significant differences were observed between mechanical bed massage and rest condition on serum cortisol and creatine kinase for exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Therefore, mechanical bed massage may reduce stress and muscle damage for the athlete after training or competition.
Keywords: Mechanical bed massage; biochemical markers; exercise-induced back muscle fatigue.